High Pressure Chili

Wed, Mar 4 • 0

So I ended up making chili con carne tonight using my new pressure cooker, pretty much just as described by Jacques in the last post. I used a course grind of buffalo meat instead of beef, and I saved the green onions for the end instead of putting them in the pot at the beginning. I also skipped the jalepeno/habenero in favor of Muir Glen organic roasted tomatoes with chipotle and garlic, which provided enough heat for the mild kind of chili my wife will eat.

It worked out really well. The beans were completely cooked, and the chili had great flavor. The only thing I noticed is that the cooking time of 1 hour is a little deceptive. It took at least 30 minutes for the pressure cooker to get up to pressure after I clamped on the lid. Still, from dried bean to finished chili, the total time including prep and pressurizing was 1 hour, 45 minutes. I’m happy with my purchase, and I really recommend it.

1½ lbs. coarse grind buffalo (or regular ground beef, or ground turkey, or stew meat)
8 ounces dried red kidney beans (about 1½ cups)
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes in serrano sauce
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
3 cups cold water
2 teaspoons salt

Brown the buffalo meat in batches in the pressure cooker, then put all of the other ingredients but the salt in. (Salt inhibits the cooking process, esp. with the beans.) Clamp on the lid, and set it on high pressure for 60 minutes. Add salt before serving, and garnish with greek yogurt, chopped green onion, shredded chedder, avocado … also great over baked potatoes. Makes about 8 servings.


Sun, Aug 10 • 0

Posole is a thick soup that’s made with pork, hominy, garlic, onion, chili peppers, cilantro, and broth, from the Pacific coast of Mexico.

My brother made this two weeks ago over a camp fire. He used pinto beans, but suggested I try making it with hominy instead. I’m not sure how authentic my version is, since I’m pretty much not allowed to cook anything too spicy if I expect my wife to eat it. Also, both of us hate the taste of cilantro, which is a dominant flavor in most of the recipes I’ve come across. I brined my pork before starting, but if you’re strapped for time, just season your pork with salt and pepper before starting. As with all dishes like this, it’s always better the second night. Serves 6-8 hungry diners or 12 normal ones. (Weight Watchers, 1 serving : 10 points.)

2-3 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed of excess visible fat
2 T oil
½ bottle beer
4-6 cups water
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 strips bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic
½ T ground cumin
1 t chili powder
2 t smoked paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
3 T flour
1 can diced tomato
2 cans hominy, drained

Heat up a dutch oven with oil, and brown the pork shoulder on all sides — about 5 minutes a side. Remove the pork, discard the grease, and deglaze the pot with the beer. Return the pork to the pot, and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms. Remove the pork to cool, and reserve the broth, skimming off excess fat.

Without the broth, in the same pan, brown the bacon until the bacon fat is rendered. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon, and save with the pork. Augment with olive oil if necessary, and cook the chopped vegetables until transluscent. Add the spices, and the flour, and stir until moistened. Add the tomato with the juice, plus 4 cups of the reserved broth. Cut the pork shoulder into 1 inch cubes, removing any bones and large chunks of fat, and add back into the pot along with the bacon. Stir in the 2 cans of hominy, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

If you want to make this spicier, you can add some diced jalepeno when you add the onions to the pan.

Fajita Seasoning

Sat, Apr 26 • 0

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 package Adobo seasoning

Next time, I think I’ll add a little heat, in the form of cayenne pepper.

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